McLaren Vs. Mercedes Supercar Showdown

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
mclaren vs mercedes supercar showdown

With the McLaren-Mercedes SLR set to end production, McLaren wants to build a new supercar of its own (front mid-engine THIS). Auto Motor und Sport reports that Mercedes, which owns some 40 percent of McLaren, reckon the new hot rod would compete with its forthcoming Gullwing super-SL. And? Racing boss Ron Dennis and partner Mansour Ojjeh each own 15 percent of McLaren; the royal family of Bahrain own the other 30 percent. They're all hot for a new McLaren road car. Accordingly, two mid-engined prototypes are currently undergoing track testing, one of which sports a German-built V10 race engine. Mercedes is livid, threatening to cut all payments to McLaren if it doesn't halt development plans. Ultimately, Mercedes is going to have to bite the bullet and buy out the last 11 percent of McLaren if they want to call the shots (outbidding the royal family of Bahrain ain't gonna be easy). Meanwhile everyone has to make nice and work together on the F1 circuit, where McLaren-Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton is kicking ass and taking names. So who's writing the novel?

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  • The duke The duke on Jul 30, 2008

    While in some ways I like the idea new gullwing, it's sad that we see function follow form on this car. Meaning, there is no reason for the gullwing doors other than the fact that they look cool. I guarantee they will make the car heavier than if it didn't have them. How is this different than the 300SL of yore? Well, that car had a tube frame chassis (as it was designed as a race car) so they couldn't put normal doors on it as that is where the frame was. Gull-wings were the only option (and cut high, over the tube frame). Form followed funtion, as it always did at Mercedes until Marketing started bossing engineering around. Ask anyone with a DeLorean DMC-12 or Bricklin SV-1 how gullwing doors are to live with - aside from looking cool. Sadly, the latter is all MB cares about any more.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jul 30, 2008

    great story. They'll sell 250, worldwide. 200 will end up in collections 25 driven by dowagers who have no idea what it is. 25 will be enjoyed by the kids and hangers on. Sadly, 17 will be wrecked this way.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jul 30, 2008

    Because the Mustang version was so lame, it's the new Night Rider car! Glenn A. Larson returns!

  • Alexdi Alexdi on Jul 31, 2008

    I wonder if it's even possible to significantly improve the original F1. They could probably pull another 75 HP from an emissions-compliant engine. The brakes could be carbon composite rather than iron, and the CD player would have to become an MP3 player. Otherwise, the car is as technically impressive now as it was in 1993. We've got quite a lot of competent supercars, I'm actually more interested in the T25.